William Stafford1

(1754 - after 1836)

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Relationship5th great-grandfather of The 3 Tracys
Family Group:Ohlheiser
Trees14 Generations of Our Ancestors
Our Ohlheiser Family Pedigree
FatherWilliam Stafford Jr.2 (29 Feb 1712 - 16 Nov 1803)
MotherFreelove Westcott2 (1724 - 1 Apr 1809)

Birth - Marriage - Death

ChildWilliam Stafford was born in 1754, in Coventry, Kent Co., Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, New England. His age is given as 81 years at the time he gave his depostition for his military pension on 3 September 1835. Several on-line family trees indicate the specific date of 25 November 1753, but without providing sources for that date.3,4
GroomHe married Relph circa 1790 in Scituate, Providence Co., Rhode Island. Probably in Scituate as that is where William had been living when he enlisted for military service, or possibly Coventry... there were a number of Relph families in these two nearby towns at the time of the 1790 census.
DeceasedHe died after 1836 in Aurora, Erie Co., New York. William's Revolutionary War Pension was issued to him as of 13 January 1836 and his initial payment included compensation to 4 September 1836.5,1

Child with Relph:


a Farmer


Military ServiceFrom August 1777 to November 1777. While living in Scituate, Providence Co., Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, New England,William Stafford volunteered for military service.
     He served as a private during two Revolutionary War enlistments. He said that during this initial volunteer enlistment he had served three months, mostly in Newport, in General Cornell's Brigade, Colonel Archbald Crary's Regiment, Captain Parker's Company. He does not recall taking a regular discharge at the end of this three month term and he had no documentary evidence of that service, but was able to provide corraborating testimony from Jesse King who had seved with him at the time.3
Military ServiceFrom June 1778 to November 1779,William Stafford volunteered once again.
     He re-enlisted as a private, this time for a term of 15 months, spending time in Bristol before going to Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was again in Captain Parker's Company, Archbald Crary's Brigade amd his General's name was Cornell. From Bridgeport his company took part in General Sullivan's army's retreat from near Newport to Tiverton (officially referred to as General Sullivan's expedition to Rhode Island which was made with the purpose of driving the British invaders from Newport). From Tiverton he went to Little Compton for winter quarters and remained there until the expiration of his 15 month term of service when he was regularly discharged. He said the only combat in which he had a part was during General Sullivan's retreat.3
Military PensionHe witnessed John's application for a Military Pension on 7 April 1818, in Oneida Co., New York; John applied for his Revolutionary War Service Pension; His service was affirmed by his brother, William, who was also living in Oneida Co., NY, at the time.6
Military PensionOn 3 September 1835, in tbe Town of Aurora, Erie Co., New York,William Stafford applied for a Military Pension for his service in the Revolutionary War.
     He gave a deposition at the time of his application for his Service Pension detailing, to the best of his memory, that military service. At the time of the initial deposition he was said to be unable to attend to an open court, as was normally required, "by reason of bodily infirmity;" he had difficulty expressing himself clearly to the point the person taking his original deposition misunderstood some of the officers' names. A supplemental deposition was taken on 7 November 1835 to clear up those issues, and at that time it was said that "this deponent is very infirm and has had a fit of palsy which renders it difficult to make himself understood."
     His application was subsequently approved, though based on only ten months of service. Apparently the only official record the Pension Office was able to find for him indicated that, "William Stafford Appears on a Roll of Colonel Archibald Crary's Regiment" of Rhode Island State Troops (the Rhode Island Line). The roll was undated and does not give a rank, and shows nothing other than that he was owed a “balance for depreciation” of £20. s.5. d.10. Since that was the only official record of his service, it seems that it was determined by the Pension Office that 10 months was all that would be allowed for the calculation of his pension... and that pension was to be $33.33 per year.
     His Certificate of Pension was issued 13 January 1836 and he was paid for arrears from the 4th of March 1831 to the 4th of September 1836... $183.32. He was to then receive the regular pension payments annually until his death.
          He never received that depreciation compensation, nor did any of the other Rhode Island troops - privates to officers. (For background see: Balances For Depreciation.)7,8

Residences and Censuses

On 7 April 1818, William Stafford lived in Oneida Co., New York. It was then that he prepared a sworn statement affirming his brother John's declaration of military service during the Revolutionary War.9
On 18 September 1830, William Stafford lived in The Town of Aurora, Erie Co., New York. There he prepared a sworn statement that would affirm the declaration that David Stafford was to make later, on 08 Aug 1832, for the purposes of obtaining his (David's) veteran's pension.10

Sources - Citations

  1. [S161] National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Compiler, Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970, online www.ancestry.com, (Louisville, Kentucky), Various Applicants, on Microfilm, 508 rolls.
  2. [S528] Michael H Stafford, "Re: STAFFORD. William & John: 1776: RI &," e-mail message from private eMail to Sean C. Tracy, 22 August 1997.
  3. [S534] Stafford, William, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; NARA microfilm publication M804 (Washington D.C.: National Archives).
  4. [S531] J Hicks, "Re; STAFFORD, William & John: 1776; RI & NY," e-mail message from private to Sean C. Tracy, 21 August 1997, year of birth and location.
  5. [S534] Stafford, William; NARA microfilm publication M804, shows pension was payed to 4 September 1836.
  6. [S531] J Hicks, "Stafford - Wm & John Rev War Pen App," e-mail to Sean C. Tracy, 21 August 1997, date of application and location of birth; wife - Ann aged 61 in 1820.
  7. [S534] Stafford, William; NARA microfilm publication M804, William's Entire Pension File.
  8. [S533] Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Revolutionary War (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, 1972).
  9. [S537] Stafford, John, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; NARA microfilm publication M804 (Washington D.C.: National Archives).
  10. [S535] Stafford, David, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; NARA microfilm publication M804 (Washington D.C.: National Archives).
Last Edited8 Dec 2017

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